Anton, Since You'e Using AVG 8...
try manually disabling it's "link scanner". They've recently made some major fixes for 8. The link scanner "was" loading & scanning EVERY link on the page you were trying to access before opening the page. Many complained of the slow loading. Apparently, in the latest fixed version,it now only pre-scans links that you click on. Update & see IF makes a difference.
Windows defender may also having a problem as it is a background guard
and 'tho perhaps OK before, may now be having conflicts w/ other background guards installed since (AVG/Spybot/?).
2 items coming in from LEFT FIELD are:
1) A recent patch applied to servers for a DNS poisoning exploit is said to slow down response time for busy servers (patch V1). A updated patch said to reduce or eliminate this problem(V2) was supposed to have been released this week-end but may have NOT YET been applied to many servers.
2) Numerous ISP's have, lately, been trying to limit bandwidth usage by slowing or, at times, refusing enough space to connect with certain sites &/or users who are using P2P type file sharing (many sorts, not just music/videos). This also affects smaller, local/regional services who rent "Bulk" space from the BIG BOYS. They claim they're using so much it's delaying all other traffic and have slowed/reduced width available at some or all times of the day & night. Comcast has just been ordered by the FCC to cease from this type behavior . This is just one & many are copying the idea but have not had formal complaints lodged yet. Stock sheet real time tracking might fall into this category.
Basically I'm NOT sure Spybot is, by itself, the problem 'tho may be compounding & adding to other recent complications. Since you know about advanced in S&D you could try disabling it for now from running at start-up in background rather than un-installing, keeping only as a on demand scanner until situation clarifies via MS Config.
First thing I disabled (after Acer "Tour") on my new Vista Laptop was the MS Defender, just to avoid conflicts with better protectors I trusted more. This was Pre-AVG 8 & newer Spybot and I had seen no conflicts w/ the others I wanted to put on without Defender running.
Cleaning up temp files & even old system restore points could help. Do sys restore points only when machine is running well (yours being fairly recent) shouldn't have that many yet. SR alots itself 12 % of total HD for it's exclusive use.
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